Format: Paperback arc
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3.5
Genre: Realistic fiction/Mystery
What did you like about the book? The story begins with what may well be the most exciting, gripping and unforgettable openings that I have ever read. Bronwyn, 16, is waiting outside her school for her mother to pick her up – but Mom is late and there is a tornado warning. When the skies darken and the wind picks up Bronwyn runs for her home in the trailer park. Just as she is about to enter the trailer, her neighbor calls that they must get out of there right now! They join others to hide in a store room of a convenience store as the tornado rages destroying most that is in its path. This is described in detail that allows you to hear and see and feel the tornado, its destruction and the terror of the people trapped in the store. The reader is hooked; no going back. Sustaining a bad cut to the head, she is taken to the hospital for stitches but it turns out that she will not be treated without a parent’s signature – and her mother is missing. Her biological father is a senator, she has seen him once in her life; nevertheless he is contacted and two hours later he arrives to sign the forms.
The senator had a brief affair with Bronwyn’s mother while he was separated from his wife, hence Bronwyn. Bronwyn’s mother is a drug addict who seldom works making an unhappy life for her daughter.
He takes her to live with his family: wife, two daughters and two sons. They accept her immediately, making her one of the family that they have long wished had always been with them.
Her mother is found dead – and soon it is confirmed that she was murdered. Bronwyn’s life has been completely turned upside down – and she is angry.
All characters present as white.
Anything you did not like about the book? Is this for real? Would a hospital not treat you without a parent’s signature when there is NO parent even after a catastrophe like a tornado? And the family? They have loved Bronwyn since she was born, always having wanted her to live with them, to be their daughter. Huh? Teenagers may not have a problem with this but I could not suspend my adult views long enough to imagine this as reality.
To whom would you recommend this book? Teens who like realistic mysteries laced quite extraordinary family relations would most probably enjoy this book.
Who should buy this book? Public and high school libraries
Where would you shelve it? YA fiction
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Manager, Youth Services Book Review
Date of Review: 2/27/2021